Tag Archives: Job description

Stop Wasting Applicants’ Time

This post originally appeared on March 24, 2013. A follow up with Ms. Parham will post in just a few moments.
Cathy ParhamCathy Parham earned her MLIS in 1998 from University of Alabama (ROLL TIDE)!! Most of her career has been spent in school libraries. She has experience in elementary, middle and high schools and three months experience in a public library as a Children’s Librarian.  She is currently the Senior Librarian at Sheik Zayed Private Academy in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has been job hunting for more than 18 months, in Academic libraries, Archives, Library vendors/service providers, Public libraries, Special libraries, radio, television, and theater, at the following levels: Supervisory, Department Head, and Senior Librarian. Ms. Parham is in a city/town in the UAE, and is willing to move anywhere. 

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1. Salary

2. Benefits

3. Compatability

 Where do you look for open positions?

I Need a Library Job

USA Jobs

Gems Schools

Department of Education

ALA Joblist

Random online sites

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I usually look at the requirements and if I meet the requirements I try to align my resume to the requirements. I have already uploaded my documents on most sites I apply for jobs so I resubmit them (required documents) if it is required. It may take several days to submit the actual application/resume. I don’t spend more than an hour at a time on an application. It gets too intense if I spend more than an hour doing an application.

 Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

√ To follow-up after an interview

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

1. Don’t make the job description off putting. I am confident I can perform the tasks set forth for ANY librarian, however, when I read a job description I am often put off by the wording of the details and requirements. Why make it so wordy and complex? I am a school librarian and I perform EVERY duty required of any librarian from budgeting, management, teaching, cataloging, etc. However, when job searching, the descriptions don’t use simple terms, they use terms to put off job hunters. They describe the same jobs duties I perform but they put it in more technical terms.

2. Be honest about the availability of the job opening; if the job is already promised to your sister’s cousin’s husband’s friend just tell me. Stop wasting my time, especially if I never had a chance in the beginning.

3. Be fair in your salary offer. I DESERVE to be paid just like you.

4. Would it be too difficult to tell me why I didn’t get the job other than the standard “you were not qualified”, especially when I am qualified?

 What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Stop hiring people they know and actually hire someone who is qualified for the job. Stop wasting applicant’s time. If you have someone in mind why lead us on? Why even post the announcement? If you have to post the announcement by law, shouldn’t you have to hire the right applicant by law? Instead of someone you know or someone who knows someone?

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing someone who can put in a good word for you. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Unfortunately.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I would like to know how to write my resume to reflect my experience. I desperately want to move into another area of this field, but can’t seem to get out of the ‘black hole’ of education. Could someone provide some type of example of a resume when moving from one area to another? Has anyone else moved from schools to special/public libraries?

I think the questions on the survey are very well thought out and to the point.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Be Realistic about How Many Applications Job Seekers are Forced to Put Out

This post originally appeared on March 4, 2013. A follow up with Ms. Becerra-Licha will post in just a few moments.
Sofia Becerra

This interview is with Sofía Becerra-Licha, the archivist at Berklee College of Music, a new position charged with formalizing the archives under a grant from the NHPRC. Ms. Becerra-Licha  earned her MSLS with a concentration in Archives & Records Management from UNC-CH (August ’12), where she was a Spectrum Scholar (2010-2011), a Carolina Academic Library Associate  (2010-2012), and was heavily involved as a student leader. She also holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology and double-majored in music and Spanish as an undergraduate. Ms. Becerra-Licha was hired within the last two months, but prior to that was looking for a new position for six months to a year, in Academic libraries and Archives, for Entry level positions. This new grad describes her  internship/volunteering experience as:

2 years as a graduate assistant in public services at a small branch library. 1 year in a copy cataloging graduate assistantship for a large audiovisual archives. Two semester-long internships/volunteer positions: archival processing (papers) and original cataloging (music). Two months as a volunteer, cataloging videos. All of these positions were part-time and in academic libraries/archives.

She is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and was willing to move anywhere. Ms. Becerra-Licha is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), Society of American Archivists (SAA), and Music Library Association (MLA). She is currently documenting her first year on the job as a contributor to the SAA’s Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) roundtable blog series “A Year in the Life.”

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Interesting work and/or responsibilities

Congenial colleagues

Salary proportionate to local cost of living

Where do you look for open positions?

Professional listservs and websites

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

First, I reread the job description carefully and decide whether I meet the minimum requirements, as well as whether it sees like a genuinely good fit for my interests and skills. Next, I add the position as a possibility on my job applications spreadsheet, which includes fields for deadlines, number of references, and any special instructions. Based on the ad, I decide which references make the most sense for this type of position and contact them, including a few sentences about how my qualifications match up against the requirements and anything else particularly distinctive about the opportunity or my experience in relation to it. (And of course, I always include the caveat that they’re welcome to refuse if they have any reservations whatsoever, no questions asked!)

Simultaneously, I briefly research the institution and area to confirm this would be a liveable option, and to get ideas for connections I might mine for the cover letter. Assuming I don’t need to update my résumé, I draft the cover letter, potentially borrowing phrases from previous letters if I have applied for similar positions, but otherwise spending 30 minutes to an hour on the letter alone.

Overall, I would say an average application packet takes a couple of hours, but the length will depend on the demands of the process. I mostly applied to academic library positions, so another 30 minutes to an hour could go towards having to fill in a lot of the same information again on a general HR site, sometimes requiring the creation of an online account with that system. It’s hard for me to gauge because I rarely worked on a single application exclusively. I imagine I’m not the only one who tended to chip away at tasks in between other responsibilities, as I was taking classes full-time and working part-time.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

√ To follow-up after an interview

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: Email to acknowledge application and any status updates; phone to follow up after an in-person interview. If I interviewed in person, then ideally phone notification once the position has been filled (but an email is definitely better than nothing!).

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

√ Other: Information on the area, touring the surrounding area, housing information, etc.

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Think critically about the job description, particularly the required skillset, rather than recycling from old job descriptions or throwing together a massive wishlist. Be clear about the application process, requirements, and timeline. Avoid requesting an excessive amount of supplemental documents upfront.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Be realistic (or at least understanding) about how many applications job seekers are forced to put out and take this into consideration when asking for additional materials, particularly from references. If at all possible, avoid collecting redundant information in time-consuming ways (such as requiring registering for a website or having to enter every single job, when such information is part of the required resume). Above all, communication is greatly appreciated. I understand the back-end is complicated, inevitable hold-ups abound, and there are valid reasons why many details cannot be disclosed. But whenever possible, even something like a generic update on a website saying, “we are now at the phone interview stage” is more charitable than silence. Please follow up in some manner with anyone you interview, whether in person or on the phone, via skype, etc. Professionalism goes both ways.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being persistent, remaining connected and productive, applying selectively, and honestly, having a bit of luck.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Archives, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Talk to Library Schools and Professors That May Know Good Candidates

Meagan SchiebelThis interview is with Meagan Schiebel, otherwise known as Miss Meg. She will graduate from the SLIS program at UW-Madison in May with a concentration in public libraries and youth services. Miss Meg works as a storytime librarian and has a summer LTE job in the children’s department of a public library. She has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in public libraries and other youth services positions, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her experience with internships/volunteering:

I did a 120 hour practicum during the summer in a children’s department of a local public library. This included planning storytimes for all ages and book clubs for elementary age children, collection development and management, readers’ advisory, and helping with special events.

I also have done a 40 hour reference practicum at both an adult reference desk and a children’s reference desk.

Currently I work as a storytime librarian and do 1 storytime weekly at a local public library.

Meg enjoys spending time outside, weather permitting, and exploring the area on her bicycle. She is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and is willing to move anywhere. Check out her new website, Miss Meg’s Storytime , or learn more about her via LinkedIn

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

The ability to be creative
New experiences
Professional development opportunities

Where do you look for open positions?

INALJ
ALA listserv
local state library listserv

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I start out by looking up the library’s website and the wikipedia page for the town (since I’m looking nationally). If I still want to apply after looking up that information I start by making a cover letter. I have a couple templates that I use for cover letters that I usually combine and tweak to make a new cover letter. I use the language in the job description to help me make a cover letter that is specifically for that job. I usually end up spending about an hour.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Outsource– talk to library schools and professors that may know good candidates for their position.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communication!!!

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Being yourself and being able to take your experiences and tell the hiring staff why that will help you be the best person for the job.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Maybe a “how far are you willing to travel” question (my answer would be anywhere!)

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

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Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Public, Youth Services

Author’s Corner: Jump-Start Your Career as a Digital Librarian

Our friends at the Library and Information Technology Association have published a brand new guide to becoming a digital librarian. I’m very grateful to editor Jane Monson, who has written today’s guest post. Not only will you get a glimpse of some of the topics covered in the book, but she’s put together some great advice for library students and entry level librarians.


During the past decade or so, the job title of “digital librarian” has become increasingly common as more and more libraries move their content and services online. In my recently published book, Jump-Start Your Career as a Digital Librarian: A LITA Guide, the specifics skills needed to position oneself for a job in this brave new world of librarianship – among them, familiarity with metadata, digital preservation, and web development – are explained by a cadre of experienced professionals in the field. Jump start your career as a digital librarianHowever, when it comes to job searching, the would-be digital librarian faces the same challenges as any other new professional: namely, to stand out in an over-crowded field and somehow find a position that balances both desires (to land a dream job) and needs (to pay the bills).

With that in mind, I would like to share a few kernels of wisdom that both the book’s contributors and I have gathered in our own employment searches, as well as our experiences serving on hiring committees. Much of this advice is specific to entry-level librarians, as they are usually the ones with the greatest obstacles to employment.

  1. Lay the groundwork during library school. In their chapter, “Getting the Most Out of Library School,” authors Micah Vandegrift and Annie Pho discuss ways that the savvy student can take optimal advantage of the opportunities available in library school and emerge as a desirable job candidate. They recommend surveying the job landscape early and often (ideally, before you even begin school); being creative with your coursework and fashioning your own specialty if your program doesn’t offer exactly what you want; putting in work through part-time jobs, practicums, internships, and volunteer work; and connecting with others through online and traditional venues. Knowing what skills employers are looking for by scanning job ads is a good way to target courses and part-time jobs that will give you the best experience in your chosen area. Some schools offer specialized tracks (for example, in digital libraries), but if yours doesn’t you can often create a close approximation using the DIY approach, cobbling together courses from other departments and initiating independent studies. Be willing to spend time outside of school teaching yourself relevant technology skills and keeping up on the latest journals and trade publications. Take advantage of any opportunity to attend professional conferences and workshops, and don’t be afraid to jump into online networking to get your face and name out there.
  2. Get as much work experience as you can while in school. Of the items listed above, “putting in work” may well be the most critical. It seems unfair, but the sad truth is that employment begets employment. Many a new librarian, digital or otherwise, has complained that employers seem unwilling to train new hires with little prior experience. Therefore, one of your main jobs while in library school is to train yourself, outside of the classroom. Don’t graduate without at least one volunteer gig, graduate assistantship, or other library-related job on your resume (and ideally several). If this isn’t possible for you to do, think carefully about your decision to enter library school – unless, of course, you already have significant library work experience prior to enrolling, or you don’t plan on using the degree to work in a library. When choosing a graduate program, weigh heavily the opportunities for students to find work in libraries on campus and in the surrounding area. These experiences are often more important than the classes you take.
  3. Be willing to relocate. There may be some fields that will easily allow you to go to school, undertake a career, and retire all in the same place. Librarianship, unfortunately, is not generally one of them. One important point that Elyssa Sanner and Catherine Wagner make in the chapter “Landing Your First Job,” is that unless you are willing to wait around for a relevant position to open up in your geographic area, the surest way to find a job after graduation is to cast your net as widely as possible. This is not to say that no one ever finds jobs within a targeted location, but these jobs are more likely to require a compromise – they may be part-time, or not in the area you trained for. Limiting yourself geographically may not allow you to make the best use of your library degree, and is bound to make the job search that much more difficult and drawn-out. A reality of librarianship today is that you may have to “pay your dues” by taking that all-important first job in a less than desirable location. But once you have those first years under your belt, you will have much more leverage to go after your dream job in your dream place.

The book has many more tips for navigating library school, applying for your first job in the field, transitioning from one area of librarianship to another, and further developing your career (Roy Tennant has some great advice in this chapter). It offers a wealth of information for both digital- and non-digital librarians alike, culled from the collective wisdom of more than twenty contributing authors – many of them hiring librarians themselves. I’m sure I can speak for all of them in wishing you good luck in your job search!


Jane Monson

Jane Monson received her MLS from the University of Iowa, where she was an IMLS Digital Libraries Fellow. She is currently Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Northern Colorado; previous to that she was Digital Projects Librarian at Truman State University. She has been published in Computers in Libraries, is a book reviewer for the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, and serves on various ALA editorial committees.

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Filed under Author's Corner, Entry Level, Guest Posts, MLIS Students, Web/Computer Services

I Hate to Say That I’m “Lucky” Because I Feel Like it Negates All My Hard Work

Laurie Borchard graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Spring of 2012.  She has recently been hired as the Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian at California State University Northridge, where she creates digital learning objects, develops online learning initiatives for undergraduate students, teaches course-integrated information literacy skills, and provides in-person and virtual reference services.  She is particularly proud of being the co-creator of the video series Research Therapy, with a blog coming soon!  Prior to being hired, she had been job hunting for six months to a year in academic libraries, for positions at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

As an undergrad I worked in ILL for a year and half, I had 2 years combined experience working reference, instruction and collection development.

Prior to being hired, she was in an urban area of the Midwestern US, and was willing to move anywhere. She says:

believe it or not I wrote so many cover letters that I actually started to enjoy doing it!

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA, Chronicle of Higher Education, LIScareer and Indeed

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

I usually spent 2-3 hours on the application. I began by taking a look at the job description and highlighting things like the minimum/ preferred qualifications. On top of that I made note of the language they used, for instance “information literacy” or “information competency,” then when writing the cover letter I would use the same words. I would then take a look at the library/university so I could get a better understanding of what they’re mission statements were, who the library community was, etc.  Then began the writing the process for the cover letter, which is what took me the longest. The first couple of applications I did, I had a seasoned librarian who had served on a search committee recently take a look at it.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ Other: I wouldn’t call it exaggerating but I would take my current work experience and relate it to the position I was applying for

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

√ To follow-up after an interview

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Have more minimum requirements

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate with applicants so we’re not left wondering if our application was even received or read. Also, please don’t make me fill out an online application where I have to put all my past work experience in despite the fact that it’s all on my resume. Also, please make sure the software for the online application works. I once wasted hours on an application that was never received because it wouldn’t save any of my data.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

It’s all in how you spin it. We’re trained to be librarians and I think most of us really believe that we could do any library job. You have to take the experience you have whether it’s a lot or a little, public or academic and make it relevant to the job you’re applying for. The cover letter is VERY important, you have to make yourself stand out. I got a tenure-track faculty librarian position right out of library school at a large academic library in Southern California. I thought this was unheard of!! I hate to say that I’m “lucky” because I feel like it negates all my hard work over the last several years. However, there are days I wake up and pinch myself I can’t believe I got this amazing job.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I think it would be interesting to know how many jobs people have applied to, plus how many interviews they got as well as job offers.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Suburban area

I’m a Fast Learner and am Looking for a Place to Stay, Get Me While I’m Young

mary michelle mooreMary-Michelle Moore is a library assistant at the UC Irvine’s Langson library with a background in interlibrary loan and circulation.  She is currently working towards her MLIS through Rutgers State University of New Jersey and will be graduating in May 2013. Ms. Moore has been looking for a new position for less than six months, in Academic and Special libraries, at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience (she is transitioning from staff to librarian). Here is how she describes her internship/volunteering experience:

– 5 years experience working as a paraprofessional – primarily in access services, with some student worker supervision experience
– Digital reference internship with the ipl2

Ms. Moore is in a city/town in the Western US, and is willing to move

Anywhere in CA and Western US or to the Smithsonian or American Museum of Natural History

She serves as Webmaster for the Rutgers Association of School Librarians (RASL) and as an Online Student Representative for the Student College, Academic and Research Librarian Association (SCARLA).  She volunteers with I Need a Library Job and Reading to Kids.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

– room for advancement/ professional development support

– interesting job duties

– location

Where do you look for open positions?

ALA JobList

INALJ.com

– professional listservs

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

~5-10 hours: read through job description, look up the library and find out a little about the institution, update the resume/CV, create cover letter, send CV & cover letter to friend w/ job description for proof reading, contact references to verify their willingness to vouch for me.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

– give candidates enough time to get a application packet together, short advertising times are difficult for everyone involved

– talk a bit about the work environment, work is important but if you do social activities, this is a big plus

– write better job descriptions, some of the descriptions are either too broad or too specific – if you’re willing to mentor a new librarian, please let me know, I’m a fast learner and am looking for a place to stay, get me while I’m young so I can learn the habits you want in the position instead of waiting to train me out of old habits

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

– Be more communicative, even if you just send a generic trigger email, let me know you have received my application, an approximate start date for the interview process, and follow up when the position has been filled.  I’ve applied for jobs in the past and received a “we regret to inform you we’ve gone with another candidate” letter in the mail more than a year later.  If you expect me to jump through hoops, please at least be polite about it.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Choose jobs carefully so you are excited about what you are applying for and can generate some genuine enthusiasm. Apply to positions that may not be a perfect fit based on the job description, you may find out more about the position when you get to the interview that is more encouraging.  Don’t get discouraged when you aren’t called back, there are a lot of people going out for these positions and you cannot know what everyone is looking for, chances are it’s nothing you’ve done anyway.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Maybe a section on soft skills and a section on publications?

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Special, Western US

A Failed Application or Interview is Much Less Painful When You Take a Learning Experience Out of It

Kevin MaloneyFaculty of Information at the University of Toronto. A former student assistant at Southern Ontario Library Service, Mr. Maloney is also an ongoing volunteer at the John M. Kelly Library of St. Michael’s College.  He has been job hunting for a year to 18 months, in academic libraries, library vendor/service providers, public libraries, school libraries, and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience, and supervisory. Here is how he describes his experience with internships and volunteering:

I was a student assistant with Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) in July-August 2011. In that capacity, I provided liaison services to First Nations client libraries, took conference minutes, researched and contacted potential partners/sponsors for SOLS events (including SOLS’ annual “First Nation Communities Read” event), examined the SOLS website for technical issues/areas that could use improvement, and rewrote SOLS promotional documents for redistribution to First Nations band leaders. At one point I even got to personally assist in the move of one client library to a new location!

Before my work with SOLS, though, and while I was still in the full swing of my studies at the University of Toronto, I was a volunteer with Hart House Library in 2009-2011, where I sorted books, monitored the collection for future weeding efforts, assisted in the annual collection development process, and helped maintain the library’s LibraryThing catalogue. Though my duties at Hart House were fairly low-key most of the time, I still took a lot out of the experience. Currently, I am volunteering at John M. Kelly Library (St. Michael’s College), where I assist their Technical Services department in adding new acquisitions to their online catalogue. I also work alongside other volunteers in collecting and sorting newly-donated donated materials for the library’s annual book sale.

Mr. Maloney is in a suburban area in Canada, and is willing to move anywhere. You can learn more about him on LinkedIn.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1. Relevance to the skills that I have learned and trained for (ie, a job that I know I can do, and do well). This is not to

2. A professional environment that is both accommodating and engaging– a workplace that puts my mind at ease, but at the same time keeps me focused on the task at hand.

3. Having a job within relatively easy travel distance is a nice perk that I do often look for, but it is not a necessary one– I am not adverse to having to travel or relocate for a job.

Where do you look for open positions?

Faculty of Information Jobsite, University of Toronto

ALA Joblist

Linkedin

OLA Partnership Job Board

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

My routine is as follows:

1. Examine the job posting thoroughly, often examining the company/library website further to see how I could be an asset to this organization.

2. Take an existing cover letter file and, where necessary, use it as a template to reconstruct and re-fit a new cover letter for this position. The amount of modification, of course, varies from position to position.

3. Send all relevant material, and keep my fingers crossed. 

I typically spend maybe 1 hour, tops, on an application packet, though this may vary depending on how urgent the application’s due date is.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

-One thing that employers should, I think, practice more frequently is sending email responses. Even if the email is just there to say tell me that haven’t gotten the job, it’s still nice to know that they examined my application.

-Whenever an applicant doesn’t get the job, employers should feel free, when asked, to tell him or her why. A failed application or interview is much less painful when you take a learning experience out of it.

-Where relevant, employers could recommend any other position or organization that they feel the applicant might be interested in, or that they know is looking for candidates with the applicant’s qualifications.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

If I knew, I probably wouldn’t still be searching. 😉 In all honesty, though, I think the best way to get hired is to keep one’s professional profile relevant, up to date, desirable, and made as accessible as possible. For keeping one’s profile relevant, volunteering always helps, and looks great on a resume! Job searchers should also never be afraid to ask for professional feedback from their peers. Other than that, I don’t think there is any “secret” to getting hired other than staying positive and never giving up.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I’m just glad that someone finally made a survey like this. It’s great to be able answer questions relevant to my own job search, and I look forward to seeing what other job hunters like myself have to say as well.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

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Filed under Academic, Canada, Job hunter's survey, Other Organization or Library Type, Public, School, Special, Suburban area